“The council used its knowledge of the region's strengths to develop long-term economic plans and create jobs.
"These new efforts are working, and the success of REDCs is undeniable." (emphasis supplied)
If one defines “success” as spending billions of taxpayer dollars, then, I suppose, “the success of REDCs is undeniable.”
If success means creating an economic environment where businesses are self-sustaining and the numbers of good jobs and population are growing, the “success” of the program is highly debatable.
While our Mohawk Valley REDC seems to take credit for a drop in unemployment rate from 8.7% to 5.2% locally over the last 6 years (NYS Labor Dept Statistics show a drop in annual unemployment from 7.8% average in 2010 to about 5.3% in 2016 in the Utica-Rome MSA), will it also take credit for. . .
- the drop in the Labor Force from 143,800 in 2010 to 131,083 in 2016 (a loss of almost 13,000 persons)?
- the drop in the number of persons actually employed from 132,500 in 2010 to 124,667 in 2016 (a loss of almost 8,000 jobs)?
- the drop in population from 299,397 (census) to 295,600 in 2015 (estimate Bureau Economic Analysis, US Dept. Commerce) (or 299,281 in 2010 to 296,987 per ProximityOne.com)?
- the drop in US Metro area population ranking from 160 to 163?
Locally the economic engine is not just stalled, it is running backward!
When people and jobs stop moving from here to other parts of the country, then maybe people will believe claims of “success.”